Thursday, 31 October 2013

Guest Post: How To Motivate Yourself To Exercise Outdoors This Winter

Exercising outdoors in the winter is something that I certainly need a lot of will power and motivation to do. Today's post is guest post* by Catherine explaining why it is worth persevering with:  

With winter looming, you'd be entirely forgiven for swapping your workout for a lie in and a hot drink. Don't let those months of pounding the pavements and pumping iron go to waste - not only is it possible to go for a bracing jog in the blistering cold, but it might even be good for you.  
Everyone's always talking about beach bodies and looking good for summer, so why not get a massive headstart on all those spring late-comers and get working on yours when everyone else is too chicken? If you're anxious or self-conscious don't worry: no other poor fool is going to be joining you on your shivering sojourn, so make the most of pedestrian-free pavements and let loose. It's won't be just your appearance that will benefit, either. Studies show that your body will thank you for your initially baffling decision to exercise in the cold, rewarding you with a boost to your energy levels and decreasing risk of muscle waste. With this will come an entirely deserved air of superiority over those layabouts who don't share your exercise enthusiasm.  

Of course, it's important to take proper precautions when exposing yourself to wintry conditions.Wear lightweight gloves and socks, as it is estimated that 30% of your body heat is lost through your hands and feet. However, it's important to regulate your body temperature, so don't go putting on your puffer coat and six pairs of joggers just yet. Also, if the temperature is really treacherous, it's probably better not to bother, since the benefits of running will probably be outweighed by the serious health risks of exposing yourself to extreme cold and icy streets.  

A winter workout requires careful preparation, but it'll all be worth it when you get to show off your super-toned buns of steel next July. In the mean time, wrap up your buff new body in style by shopping for a Superdry windcheater jacket.

Lucky Eyes London: A Beautiful & Quirky Jewellery Company

When Lucky Eyes* contacted me a few weeks ago I was thrilled to discover a new, cute and quirky brand. I like that Lucky Eyes combines top quality jewellery with a touch of fun, making pieces wearable everyday. Lucky Eyes is based in Mayfair, London, and each piece created is a statement.

The three bracelets that I'm wearing are from the Friendship Bracelet Collection. The top bracelet on my arm features a stirling silver evil eye encrusted with crystals. The middle bracelet is a stirling silver oval charm encrusted with cystrals, and the bottom bracelet on my arm features a Rose Quartz stone on sterling silver. All three are really nice individually but I love layering them up together to create a real impact. The fact that they are real silver means that they will last a very long time, and won't get discoloured or go rusty like cheap brands- essential as they're bound to get wet when washing your hands!

The cords are all adjustable- great for me as I usually have trouble finding bracelets that fit my skinny wrists! I would recommend having a look at all Lucky Eyes's jewellery as they have some beautiful and unique pieces, all of which are stirling silver and so great quality. They'd make a great present- I've actually got my eye on some of their earrings now as well!

What do you think?

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Shoe Wish List

I admit it: I'm a shoe addict. Every girl has one thing in which they are a little obsessed with, and my thing is definitely shoes. These are some of the shoes that I've got my eye on at the moment:

1. Safety Boots from the Dr Martens Industrial Collection
- Now that winter is here and the weather is turning a bit rubbish, Dr Martens are perfect for teaming with dresses to create a grungey look, or with leggings to create a laid-back yet cool look.

2. Jeffrey Campbell Beige Litas from Zalando
- I'm living in my black suede Litas at the moment and so I really want the beige pair as an alternative. They're so comfy and stylish that I'd just love a whole set of these to be honest!

3. Black Biker Boots from River Island
- I need a pair of black, flat ankle boots to wear with my jeans and these River Island ones are a bit different to the generic plain pairs that I usually see- loving the zip detail.

4. Charles Philip Shanghai Tartan Flats from Net-a-Porter
- These are so cute! Tartan is a big trend for A/W13 and these flats will look great teamed with anything!

5. Bianca Patent Heels from Christian Louboutin
-Because a girl can dream!

What do you think of my wish list? What shoes are you after at the moment? 

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula

Now that winter is setting in, my skin is getting very dry, especially my legs, where I shave often. This means that a good quality body lotion is essential. This Palmer's one is very rich and intensely moisturising. It sinks in quickly, which is always a plus because I'm usually in a rush when getting dressed! It smells absolutely delicious. Seriously, my favourite ever smell- even if you don't have dry skin I'd recommend buying this for the scent alone! It's a cocoa butter smell, almost a bit chocolatey- it makes me want to lick it! This bottle is lasting me ages also, as a little goes quite a long way. It's a great price, it feels very luxurious, like it should be more expensive than it is. 

Overall, this smells gorgeous, is very moisturising, it won't break the bank and is perfect for the winter months.

Is anyone else a fan of Palmer's products?

Price: £ 3.99 for 250 ml, available to buy at Boots

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

MAC Studio Fix Powder

This powder provides a great, medium-heavy layer of coverage but manages to do so with a natural, even finish; exactly what I have been looking for. I need a good level of coverage as my face has got spots and uneven blotches on it, but I hate that 'caked on' look that a heavy, cheap powder can produce. MAC Studio Fix powder stays on all day (although I do have primer underneath) and gives a flawless, almost airbrushed looking finish. It makes my skin look soft and certainly not cakey. I have very oily skin and this powder has completely mattified my face and works well at keeping the oil at bay.

There is a great selection of colours to choose from, and the one that I have is a perfect match for my skin tone (NW20). If you are considering getting this powder, I would definitely advise you to ask the sales assistants at the MAC counter to match the right colour to your skin tone and apply it all over your face so that you can see for yourself how good it looks!

I would definitely recommend this powder to anyone looking for a good level of coverage that provides a natural finish.

Has anyone else tried MAC's powders? What is your favourite powder?

Price: £21.50 (Available to buy here)

Rosy x

Friday, 25 October 2013

A Winter Wishlist

These are the items that I'm lusting after at the moment...

Asos Leather-Look Trousers
I love leather, especially in the winter. My last pair of leather leggings have finally fallen apart, so these ones from Asos look like a great replacement. They are in the Petite range as well which is a necessity for me! 

Topshop Navy Jumpsuit
I saw this jumpsuit in Topshop when browsing the other week. The online picture does not do it justice, it is simply stunning.

Jeffrey Campbell Litrane Boots
I've tried these gorgeous boots on in Office twice now and paraded around the shop in them for at least half an hour! I really do love them- payday can't come around soon enough!

Missguided Black Midi Dress
As the Christmas party season is fast approaching, I'm on the lookout for some sexy, yet classy, dresses. This one from Missguided fits the bill perfectly.  

Ray-Ban sunglasses
I know this may seem like a random item to be lusting after at this time of year, but I've got a big trip to America planned next year and I really want to get a nice pair of sunglasses for it. These Ray-Bans are gorgeous.

Jo Malone Candle
I'm a big fan of Jo Malone's candles and perfumes. I bought my mum one for her birthday this year and have been jealous ever since! It will make the whole apartment smell lovely- great for all those cosy winter nights in front of the tele.

Armani She Perfume
My perfume collection is running very low and this one has always been a firm favourite of mine- hoping someone will buy it me for Christmas!  *Hint Hint*

Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate
Finally, I've read so many rave reviews about Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate that I'm absolutely dying to try it! It sounds like a little miracle worker for tired or distressed skin. 

What do you think about my wish list? What items are you lusting after at the moment?

Thursday, 24 October 2013

OOTD: Red Velvet


Jumper: Primark
Shorts: River Island
Boots: Faith via Debenhams

Last weekend I visited Peterborough to celebrate my boyfriend's birthday. The plan was to walk around and explore the city, visit the beautiful Cathedral and, of course, do a spot of shopping. As you can probably gather, the day was quite action-packed and so my outfit needed to be comfy and practical. The jumper I chose to keep me warm was this understated black number from Primark. It goes with everything as it is plain, but the sleeves have a quilted effect on them, making it much more interesting than just a boring black jumper. The shorts are from River Island and have a black and grey tweed-effect over a cream base. I like them because they are unusual but also because they encompass the tweed trend in a cute and sexy way. Finally, these red velvet boots are certainly eye-catching; I absolutely love them! As they are quite loud, I tend to keep the rest of my outfit simple and let them do the talking.

What do you think?

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Book Review: The Cuckoo's Calling By Robert Galbraith

As a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, I eagerly purchased this book as soon as I found out it was by J K Rowling. I must admit I am a sucker for a good murder mystery. As a child I devoured all the 'Famous Five' and the 'Five Find-Outer' books by Enid Blyton, then moved on to Agatha Christie as a teenager. So, you can imagine how excited I was to have one of my favourite authors venturing into this genre!

I must admit that I did find it a little slow to get going at first. Yet, once I'd reached about a third of the way through, I was hooked. It isn't like a thriller where it's really fast-paced and there's loads of action packed into every page, but much more like a old-school murder mystery with a private detective, his sidekick and the police not getting it right. Although the concept and style was an old-fashioned murder mystery, the setting and plot were entirely modern. The mystery was based on the death of a young, famous model, and today's intrusive media and celebrity-obsessed culture is depicted all too familiarly.

I loved the two main characters; Detective Strike and his Secretary/ Side-kick, Robin. Both were polar opposites but complimented each other well, and I enjoyed reading about them and finding out more about their private lives and personalities. I would definitely like to see a series set up featuring these two!

The story itself kept me guessing until the very end. I suspected the murderer at one point but then dismissed the idea and so was surprised when all was revealed. I stayed up until 1 am when I got near the end, desperately turning the pages to find out what happened and who did it- definitely the mark of a good book!

All in all, I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading more in this detective series.

Has anyone else read The Cuckoo's Calling? What did you think? Does anyone fancy reading it now? What other mystery books would you recommend?

Rosy x

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Topshop Lipstick Saint

My first ever Topshop lipstick has certainly impressed me! I went for Saint, which is a very pale pink. I only need to sweep it over my lips to create this light pink colour, but the more intense and lighter you want it to be, the more you can apply. Although it's a pale lipstick I think it really is a statement lip. It stands out as it is so pale, so for this reason I would use it for a night out, teamed with dramatic eye makeup. It creates a matte finish, but I usually mix it with a clear balm or gloss if I want to wear it during the day, as this really tones it down. It goes on really smoothly and easily, gliding across your lips adding colour straight away. It also smells really nice- always a bonus and quite an important thing for me when buying a lipstick!

I would definitely recommend this lipstick to anyone looking for a pale, almost milky, pink one. It's great value for money and I will be buying more lipsticks from Topshop in the future.

Has anyone else tried any lipsticks from Topshop? Which others would you recommend? Does anyone else like Saint?

Price: £8 (Student discount is also available on it!)

Monday, 21 October 2013

An October Haul


Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil
This is a repurchase as I've finally finished my first bottle of this amazing cleansing oil (full review here). It has made my night time routine a million times easier. It removes ALL my makeup (even tough mascara) with just one wash! I simply use 3 squirts and rub it all over my dry makeup-full face, then rinse it off. AMAZING. And it lasts forever so you definitely get your money's worth .

Armani Maestro Foundation
This is another repurchase. It's working really well on my oily skin; nice and light but an even coverage that has a matte finish. Full review here

Mac Powder 
When browsing in Selfridges the other day I drifted towards the Mac counter. Having always used Clinique's Superpowder Double Face Powder, I decided I needed a change. The sales assistant matched up the right shade for my face and applied it really nicely so I thought I'd give it a go. I've read lots of good reviews about Mac powders so I'm hoping this one will serve me well :) 

L'Oreal Ombre Hair Dye
This was a bit of an impulse purchase as I was feeling a bit bored so wanted to mess around with my hair. It does sound exciting, I just need to pluck up the courage to do it now!


Topshop Coat
I've been after a khaki coat for ages now and as soon as I saw this one in Topshop I just knew it was THE ONE. I slipped it on immediately and was already heading towards the till whilst checking it out in the mirrors along the way! I love love love it! Especially the tartan hood!

Topshop Dress
I've been on the look out for some smart dresses for when I'm teaching and this one fitted the bill perfectly. It's also really flattering with it being bodycon and will look great teamed with a blazer, tights and wedge ankle boots. 

Topshop Top
I love the style and material of this black top. Always looking for good basics that aren't boring, this one will look great teamed with statement leggings or trousers. 

New Look Boots 
I saw these boots as soon as I walked up to the shoe section in New Look, tried them on, loved them and went straight to the till without even so much as looking at another pair! Cut-out boots are right on trend at the moment and I think you'll be seeing these featured in quite a few OOTD posts :)

What do you think of my purchases? What have you been buying recently?

Rosy x

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Aldi Miracle Oil

I've spent the last year reading so many reviews about how good hair oils are but never actually bought one myself. That was, until a few months ago when I saw this one in Aldi. I go to Aldi for my food shop but have heard good things about their beauty range, and for only £3.99 (as it was then- it's now a bargainous £3.29) I thought I'd give this a go.
First thing's first, Miracle Oil is an obvious dupe for the much-hyped-about Moroccan oil, but is a fraction of the price. Having never actually tried Moroccan oil I cannot compare this to that or comment on whether it works as well or not. However, what I can say is how good this product is. It contains Argan Oil and claims to 'strengthen, smooth and seal in shine'.

Initially I was a bit wary about using an oil on my hair as it tends to get quite greasy quite quickly, and so I didn't want to speed this process up. However, it did not make my hair greasy at all, so all that worrying was for nothing! As shown on the second photo, this product can be used in a number of ways, depending on what state your hair is in or how intense you want the treatment to be. For example, you can leave it in overnight and wash it off in the morning in order to really let your hair feel nourished. I simply rub it into the ends of my hair when it has just been washed, then blow-dry it as normal. It smells absolutely gorgeous- a little like Skittles!

I noticed that my hair was soft after I'd used the Miracle Oil, but it wasn't until I didn't use it on one or two days that I really noticed the difference. Without the oil my hair felt much courser and looked drier and duller. The Miracle Oil makes my hair shinier, brighter and just generally healthier looking. It also makes my hair smell really nice! You only need to use a tiny bit so this bottle is lasting me absolutely ages- it's been about four months and I'm still less than halfway!

I would definitely recommend Miracle Oil- it's a great little treat for your hair and it makes it look much healthier and is a brilliant price!

Price: £3.29 (Available at Aldi)

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

OOTD: Electric Blue Shirts And Disco Pants

Disco Pants: American Apparel
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell
Bag: Bohemia

As well as a PhD student I am also a Teaching Assistant at University for the fashion courses. This means that I have to dress smart but also fashionable in order to gain respect and credibility. In this instance I decided to team a smart top that I got from online retailer Missbehaver with my American Apparel Disco Pants. The top is a gorgeous electric blue colour, one that suits my colouring really well, and the polka dot peter pan collar makes it a little different. The disco pants are brilliant as they can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. They are really flattering and add that stylish edge to the outfit. The shoes are my beloved Jeffrey Campbel Litas. They always make me feel confident and are comfier than my other heels too- always a bonus when you're on your feet a lot. Finally, this leather mint green satchel is from Bohemia, a Scottish retailer who specialise in quality leather bags. Again, the bright colour makes it unique but the style is very appropriate for teaching.

What do you think of my outfit?

Rosy x

Monday, 14 October 2013

Estee Lauder Pure Colour Eyeshadow

I've been really liking these Estee Lauder eyeshadows recently. I've been using the light cream shade and the smokey brown shade, which are the ones at either end of this palette. They are both great for creating a natural look. The cream shade is called 'Ivory Slipper' (no. 10) and is a satin shade. The brown shade is called 'Wild Sable' (no. 04) and is a matte shade. They really compliment each other and I would definitely recommend buying them both to wear together if you're looking to create this natural look.

I swept the cream shade all over my lid up to the crease, concentrating on the inner corner. This really lifts my eyes, brightening them and adds a very subtle shimmer to the whole lid. I then applied the brown shade from the middle of my lid out to the outer corner and up to the crease. This adds definition and makes my eyes look bigger. You can also build the brown shade up for a more smokey eye for an evening. The eyeshadows didn't crease and stayed on all day without losing any colour or intensity (I did put the Urban Decay eye shadow primer potion on underneath though).

Has anyone else tried Estee Lauder's eyeshadows? What are your favourite eyeshadows or eyeshadow palettes?

Price: I received this palette in a bonus time gift but these eyeshadows can be bought separately, full sized versions are £17.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Eve Lom Dynaspot

In a bid to get rid of the various unwelcome spots that have appeared on my chin in the last few months, I decided to invest in Eve Lom's Dynaspot. Eve Lom is a brand that has caught my attention for a while now and I've been looking forward to trying some of their products- in particular the cleanser and Dynaspot. I have been using the Dynaspot for just over a month now and so it's about time I shared my thoughts with you.

The Dynaspot treatment is a creamy paste rather than a gel, that is a very pale pink colour. However, it comes out quite liquidy. Even after I've shaken the tube a lot, it still comes out really watery and then drips all down my finger or specks fly everywhere- very frustrating! It dries hard and crusty, a bit like toothpaste, and so cannot be worn under makeup or during the day (despite it saying that it can be worn under or over makeup!). So, I use it on my spots overnight or in the evenings/ weekends if I'm just lazing around the flat.

On the plus side, it is soothing and does not inflame or irritate the area around the spot like other spot treatments can do (Origins Super Spot Remover proved to be a bit too harsh on my skin). It contains 'naturally soothing antiseptic extracts' which 'are carefully balanced with Salicylic Acid to help eliminate spots quickly and without drying out the skin'. I would agree that it does not dry out the skin, however it may be too gentle as it does not seem to be getting rid of my spots.

To be honest, I have not been very impressed with this product. I had high hopes for it as it seemed to be held in high regard by magazines and in reviews. There's also the high price tag- I thought it must be good at that price! Alas, it has not really worked on my spots; I have not seen much of an improvement on them after using this, which is so disappointing considering how much I paid for it. So, I'm still on the look-out for a spot treatment that really works.

Has anyone else tried Eve Lom's Dynaspot? What spot treatments would you recommend?

Price: £22

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

How to Keep Makeup on Longer & Stay Shine-Free

I wanted to share with you how I make my makeup last longer on my face and stop it from being so shiny. I have quite oily skin so if I do not follow these five steps then I find that by about 11 o'clock in the morning my makeup is sliding off and my whole face is a shine-fest!

1. Use an Oil-free and Oil-reducing Moisturiser
-Dermalogica Active Moist and MAC's oil reducing moisturiser are two great examples for controlling oil production at the base level. I use one of these under my makeup as my day moisturiser but prefer a richer one at night (I like Estee Lauder Day Wear for this). There will be a whole range of oil-controlling moisturisers so shop around and find one that suits your skin and budget- it will make a difference. They stop the face from producing so much oil, making the job of the other products listed here a little easier.

2. Use Primer
-I use Benefit's POREfessional which works great on my oily skin as it provides a matte finish and really keeps my makeup on all day (full review here). Out of all the steps listed here, I think putting primer on before your foundation (or powder if you don't wear foundation) is the most important one. I wait until my moisturiser has dried before putting the primer on over the top so that it will work more effectively. There are lots of primers on the market so find one that works best for your skin.

3. Set your Foundation with Powder
-Sweeping a layer of loose powder (or pressed powder if you prefer) over your foundation with a big brush will keep it set all day. It locks the foundation in place and keeps it on for much longer. I also carry a pressed powder around with me in my handbag for any touch ups throughout the day.

4. Makeup Fix Spray
-Using a setting spray to lightly spritz over your makeup when it's done will ensure that it stays on longer. Think of it as hairspray for you face. I use Clarins one (full review here) but Urban Decay also do a range of them which sound good.

5. Blotting sheets
-If I ever do start to get a bit of a shiny/ oily face throughout the day I use blotting sheets to dab onto the areas and get rid of it. They work well by absorbing the excess oil, leaving you with a nice matte finish. They do not take any makeup off in the process either- very clever! I have written a full review on blotting sheets here. There's so many blotting sheets on the market- have a look in Boots for some- they're not expensive, maybe around £2 for a pack.

If you follow these five steps I guarantee that you will stop having such a shiny face- it's taken me years of practice, trying out different things through trial and error but by doing these steps I have finally got the better of my oil and have a nice matte face. If you do want to add a bit of a glow then I use a powder highlighter or shimmer in my blusher or bronzer.

Rosy x

Monday, 7 October 2013

L'Oreal Sublime Mousse Hair Dye


This L'Oreal hair dye caught my eye when browsing in Boots due to it's bright packaging, the fact that it's a mousse and it's price. I usually dye my hair around once a month and for the last three years I've been using the John Frieda Precision Foam Colour hair dyes (review of one here). The John Frieda hair dyes are £9.99 so I usually wait until they are on offer (usually around £6 or £7 in supermarkets, Boots and Superdrug) to purchase them. However, I needed to dye my hair for a party I was going to and so decided to give this L'Oreal one a try as it was £6.99 and the selection of colours were quite similar to the John Frieda ones.

The first thing I noticed when applying this hair dye was that it stung my scalp and ears a bit. I have never had any reaction or any stinging with any other hair dyes (salon or shop-bought) and I've been dying my hair for over ten year now. So, this was a little odd. It didn't hurt but it was quite uncomfortable and did make me a little worried about it being on my head for so long.

Secondly, the packaging clearly states that this is a mousse. When I squeezed it onto my palm it came out as a mousse, but as soon as it touched my hair it turned to liquid, making it runny and hard to spread. This is not the case with the John Frieda dye, which stays as a foam when on my head for quite a while, making it much easier to spread. The lack of foam in the L'Oreal hair dye meant that my hair would not stay up; it just hung wet down my back, dripping and dying my neck in the process.

Also, the gloves provided were absolutely huge and very loose- just like two plastic bags. This resulted in them slipping off all the time, making the application process harder. The gloves provided in the John Frieda packet are tight latex ones and much more practical for hair dying. Finally, after applying the L'Oreal hair dye I had to wait 30 minutes before washing it off. The John Frieda dye takes 20 minutes so it is less time consuming.

However, the colour (Mysterious Black Cherry) is absolutely gorgeous. It is very intense and rich; exactly what I wanted it to be, so I'm very pleased with the result.

Overall, this L'Oreal Sublime Mousse is a gorgeous colour but too much hassle to apply, so I'll be sticking to the John Frieda Precision Foam Colour hair dye until L'Oreal improves it. 

Price: £6.99

Sunday, 6 October 2013

OOTD: Cosy Knits and Rucksacks

Jumper: Gap
Necklace: Primark
Skirt: Topshop
Rucksack: Primark
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell

I really enjoy the first stages of Autumn, where I can snuggle up in a comfy jumper and cover up my legs in tights. This cable knitted jumper from Gap is an A/W wardrobe staple for me. Gap do some great quality basics at reasonable prices so I would recommend paying them a visit if you're on the look-out for plain jumpers, tops and vests. I love how burgandy and cream look together and this skirt from Topshop is very winter-chic; It's smart enough to wear to work but it can also be dressed down for the daytime or a up for a night out. This rucksack caught my eye in Primark a few weeks ago. I love tartan and to see it in a burgandy colour makes it a little bit different- plus it's really practical for carrying all my uni work in. The chunky necklace was also from Primark and it's great to throw on over plain jumpers and tees to make more of a statement. Finally, I'm living in my Jeffrey Campbell Litas at the moment. They're so comfy, make me feel sexy and tall (for once!) and black suede leather always looks great for Autumn/ Winter.

What do you think of my outfit? Is anyone else loving cosy knits or rucksacks at the moment?

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